Find the scenario below to quickly jump to the type of selection you're accounting for:
- Standard Options & Upgrades
- Pure Upgrades & Options
- Unlimited Options
- Upgrades to Included Options
- Selections Made with Vendors
- Multi-Level Allowances
- Materials vs Location
- Upsell Selections
- Yes or No Selections
- Signoff Selections
- Selections with Options
- No-cost Selections
STANDARD OPTIONS & UPGRADES
If you offer selection items that have a standard item included in the project, along with other available standard upgrades, you can enter each in the predefined options section. The most common approach is to include the standard option price in your Original Budget so that the option price shows as $0 (since this option is already included in their base price).
Be sure to add the standard item as an option also so that your client can choose to proceed with that versus an upgrade option.
PURE UPGRADES & OPTIONS
In many instances your client may request something completely outside of the original project scope. Maybe they decide to add a deck to the back of the house or finish the basement after the original proposal has been signed.
In these scenarios, you'll need to add a new Selection to the project. Keep in mind that since this item wasn't included in our original scope, the Original Budget will be left as $0.
Selecting "Predefined Choices", you can enter the budget of this request into Option #1. If there are any variations to the add-on - say different size decks or different materials they can choose from - you can use the additional options to lay out prices for each one.
Do you have a selection item where the client has tons of possible choices? In this case, when you set up the selection item, make it an Open-Ended choice. This lets the client ponder their choices and simply type in what they want.
In some instances, there may be no upcharge, regardless of what they pick. An example may be picking from a display of laminate countertops. If this is the case, you can go ahead and copy the original budget into the Open-Ended option price so the resulting client price difference is $0.
If the cost may vary, then check the “Show as TBD.” Once the client enters a choice, you can come back and fill in the price as appropriate. Of course, it would be helpful for you to give them some guidance on cost in the “Client Info” section of the selection item.
UPGRADES TO INCLUDED OPTIONS
Your projects may have certain selection items where the clients can pick anything they want, but you still have a basic selection that you have priced into the contract. In this case, you want to give the client the ability to go with your basic option, but also to upgrade to whatever they want.
First, create a selection item with a predefined option which describes your basic selection. Then, set it up with a price that matches the allowance amount/original budget. Either way, choosing that option does not increase or decrease the contract price.
As the project progresses, your clients may go to a vendor to find upgrades or may add comments to the selection item asking you to price various options. When this happens, simply update the selection item by adding those additional options to the predefined list, along with their prices. When the client finally goes to make a choice, they are able to choose from your basic selection and all of the other options they requested.
SELECTIONS MADE WITH VENDORS
Many times clients will go to a vendor to make certain selections, such as kitchen cabinets, plumbing fixtures, and lighting fixtures. There are many individual selections that are made in these visits, which the vendor will usually consolidate on a list and provide to you.
In this case, there is no need to type all of those individual selection items into CoConstruct. Instead, you can treat a selection item as a summary item, calling it “Plumbing Fixtures” or “Cabinets and Countertops.” Create a single predefined selection option with a name like “Per order sheet from Bob’s Plumbing World,” along with the total price for all of the fixtures selected. You can then attach the scanned quote directly to the selection item from the "Edit" page.
In the end, the client will still have full access to all of their selection information. Your client will simply sign off by choosing to use the order provided by the vendor, and the summary page will show the correct total price – all with you having to enter only one selection item.
Currently, CoConstruct associates an allowance amount with a single selection item. However, there may be times when your contract specifies an allowance that is shared among multiple selection items. Examples could include “Kitchen cabinets and countertops” or “Fireplace, mantle, and surround.” There are a few ways to handle this:
Create a single selection item that includes all of the items in the allowance, such as “Kitchen cabinets and countertops.” Select “Open-ended choice” as the way the client makes the selection choice. This gives the client a text box to type in both their cabinet and countertop selection. When you then enter in the combined price, CoConstruct computes the variance from that price and the total allowance amount.
This is a common scenario when you use a vendor to handle certain selections. That vendor will then aggregate the clients’ selections on a single order, and provide it to you.
- Reconsider whether it is necessary to actually show the allowance amount on the specs & selections page. Especially if you are offering the clients some basic options that are covered by the allowance amount, it may make more sense to address the pricing in terms of upcharges over the contract price.
For example, your contract may have a $4,500 allowance for a fireplace, mantle, and surround. For each of these three, you have standard options that add up to the $4,500 amount. In this case, should the client pick your standard options, there would be no change to the price of the project.
However, to give your clients a greater degree of choice, you could break these into three separate selection items, all under a “Fireplace” category. Do not put an allowance amount on any of the items and give each of your standard selections a price of $0. Should the client choose the standard options, as with before, there would be no change to the price of the project.
For upgrades or other custom items selected by the client, simply enter prices in terms of the upcharges. Because the prices reflect the incremental cost of the upgrades, you are still taking the allowance into account, even though you did not explicitly enter it on the selection sheet.
By explaining in the “Information” section of the selection item that the allowance has been taken into account in the pricing, you can prevent any confusion from the client.
- You could assign part of the allowance to each selection item, with the total of all the allowances equaling the total for the category. While the client may be over on one and under on another, all of the numbers will balance out once all of the selection choices have been made. You can then add all of the selections to a single change order or variation document to display the net changes of that category of selections.
MATERIALS VS LOCATION
CoConstruct can be very flexible, so there can be many ways to accomplish the same thing. Flooring is a great example. Do you have one selection item for flooring? Do you have a separate flooring selection item for each room? Do you have a different selection item for each type of material (carpet, hardwood, tile, vinyl, etc…)? Any of these are possible. Here are some things to keep in mind as you figure out what works best for you:
- What do you do now – If you have a selection sheet now, how is it organized? If you are comfortable with it, then set it up the same way. If you hate what you have now, perhaps you should try another approach.
- Allowances – Do you have a flooring allowance? If so, is it a single allowance or is it broken up by room or material? If you have one allowance, refer to the "Selection Scenarios: Allowance amount is shared among multiple selection items" section. If you have it separated by material, consider breaking down your selection items the same way.
Perhaps there are items about which you do not normally give your clients a choice, like the type of pipes or casing width. But, if they asked for an upgrade, then you would accommodate them. There are two ways to handle this, depending on whether you want to limit the number of selections or if you are looking for ways to sell your clients more upgrades:
- Need to know basis – With this approach, if you would not give your clients the option without CoConstruct, then do not give them the option with CoConstruct. If they pose a question about an upgrade, only then add it to the Specs & Selections.
- More upgrade sales – If you are looking for a way to increase your sales of option upgrades, but found it too hard to manage in the past, CoConstruct can help you present more options to your clients without the organizational nightmare. With this approach, you may want to consider always adding these items to your Specs & Selections.
YES OR NO SELECTIONS
There are times when you need a yes or no answer, such as whether or not the client wants to finish off a bonus room. In this case, make the selection item not mandatory. Then enter a single predefined option with a name such as “Yes” or “Finish bonus room.” When the client goes to make a choice, they will have the ability to accept that one option or turn it down.
Sometimes you just need signoff on an item that is standard or had previously been decided prior to using CoConstruct on the project. In this case, create a new selection item, make the selection mandatory, and enter a single predefined selection item with an option name such as “Yes” or “Accepted per spec.” When the client goes to make the choice, they will have to click the only option available. This allows you to capture the client’s signoff in the change log.
A credit is simply a selection item with a negative price. Any place where you would enter a price, you can precede the quantity with a minus sign.
Credits usually happen in one of three ways:
- The selection item has an allowance amount, but the client’s selection has a lower price. Co-construct then credits the difference to the client.
- The selection item, which is not mandatory, has an allowance amount, but the client declines the selection. Co-construct then credits the entire allowance amount.
- You enter a negative price for a selection. For example, the original contract may have called for a bay window in a home addition. The price of the bay window was therefore factored into the contract price. Then the client says that they just want a standard window, and would like a credit back. You would create a new selection item called “Replace bay window with standard window.” You would make it not mandatory and include a single predefined option of “Yes” or “Use standard window” with a price of -1000. When the client made the choice for the regular window, they would receive a $1,000 credit.
SELECTIONS WITH OPTIONS
Sometimes you have a set menu of options, such as models of a refrigerator. However, within that model, the client may get to choose a finish with no cost implication. There are a few ways to handle this:
- If you only have one or two models, you could set up a predefined selection option for each model and color combination. The client would then pick the combination they wanted.
- If there are too many model/color combinations, you can set up the predefined list of just the models, with a note that the color needs to be decided. For example, the first option may be “GE Side-by-side #1245 – Black or white.” When the client chooses an option, simply add a note to the selection item asking for what color they want. Once they reply with a comment, update the selection item to reflect the choice. If the client chose black, you would change the option to read “GE Side-by-side #1245 – Black.”
CoConstruct uses a broad definition of the term “selection.” For example, you may want to know if a wall between the kitchen and great room should be a half or full wall. Simply make this a selection item. It may not be cost-impacting or change order-worthy, but it will keep all your decisions, selections, option upgrades, etc. all in one place. Plus, by creating an item for this, if there is any future dialog about the wall, you and your clients can easily add comments to that selection item.
If there are no cost implications of a decision, give it a price of $0. CoConstruct will track the decision and communication about it, but it will not affect the project’s price.